Japan in DC Students (2017)

Jazmin Angel-Guzman
Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

Jazmin likes to play pool and listen to K-Pop and other Asian artists.  She loves to watch Korean dramas and learn Asian languages. Her favorite subject in school is math and she likes to draw Zen Tangles. She also loves rollercoasters! She chose “Japan in DC” to discover more about her city and learn more details about Japanese culture. In college, she wants to major in Korean language, East Asian studies, with perhaps a minor in coding.

Tyler Bailey
Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Tyler’s favorite subject in school is English. She is a pre-professional dancer, who has been dancing for over 11 years. She also loves to write, draw, bake . . . and take naps. She was drawn to Japan and its culture by its music and hearing stories from her aunt, who goes back and forth from the US to Japan. This made her curious and she wanted to learn more about the country and what makes it unique. Tyler aspires to be a professional dancer, but if she can’t do that, she wants to go to college for either psychology or journalism

Asa Forte
Ellington School of the Arts

Asa is in the instrumental department at his school, and plays oboe. His favorite subject is PE and he likes playing table tennis, drawing, singing (especially pop music), playing the keyboard, and all things Japanese. His favorite Japanese artist is Hiro Mashima. He chose to study Japan because of its art and history., and started teaching himself Japanese two years ago. Most people would consider Asa to have a serious/introverted personality, he tends to think he is actually quite humorous.

Maria Garcia
McKinley Technology High School 

Maria is interested in Japan because of anime. At school, she remains very busy with the WILL program, FBLA, swimming, softball, track, cross country, and tennis. Her favorite TV show is “Major.” She enjoys robotics, because that’s where she can relax and be with other kids that are funny and smart. She loves learning new things and has learned so much this summer thanks to “Japan in DC”. Maria describes herself as shy and really quiet, but always gives her opinion when needed.

Jacob Graham
DC International School

Jacob is interested in psychology and computer science; his favorite school subject is Student Led Inquiry. He does not have an appreciation for sports or camping, so his hobbies consist of tracing and playing stealth video games. He enjoys watching anime. Jacob describes his personality as “generally average,” but pessimistic as well. Because he is currently learning Chinese, he figures that learning more about Asian culture would be good for him, and believes “Japan in DC” can help prepare him for his future career and for future travel to Japan with his father, who travels to Japan frequently for work.

Clark Gray
McKinley Technology High School

Clark is a “Principal’s Distinction” honor roll student and has been accepted into his school’s engineering program. He participates in robotics and baseball teams, and was SGA President for his class at McKinley. He considers himself a thoughtful, curious, and considerate person. In his future, he would like to open a technology based company. He joined “Japan in DC” in order to learn about a new culture he might enjoy.

Brynae Alexandra Harrod
Capital City Public Charter School

Brynae’s favorite subject in school is chemistry and she loves to draw. She wants to know more about Japan because she grew up with her grandfather who traveled the world and loved Japanese culture. She grew up watching anime and learning the Japanese language, and for two years of her life she learned and loved karate. She also really likes to cosplay as videogame characters, and loves cats, bunnies, and most other animals. Brynae calls herself introverted, but also loves exploring. She aspires to be a paleontologist when she’s older.

Alexander Leonard
Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

Alex’s favorite subject in school is English. He is in Youth Leadership Greater Washington, and a One World Ambassador recognized for his writing on violent video games. One of his favorite hobbies is online shopping for clothes. His favorite designer is Alexander McQueen because the clothes have beautiful craftsmanship and unmatched attention to detail. He is interested in anime, manga, and Japanese fashion designers. Alex likes to play basketball, is a member of his school’s track team, and has been involved in community service his whole life. His goal is to finish high school and college, and lead a successful purposeful life, enjoying international experiences.

Tara Martin
Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

Tara is a participant in the Japanese Plus program. Her favorite subjects in school are art and biology. She likes to draw, listen to music, act, and swim on her summer swim team. She also likes to write fictional short stories. She enjoys reading, especially Japanese folklore and mythology. She and her groupmate, Brynae, designed the “Japan in DC” mascots, Kokechi and Kokeni. Tara wants to pursue a career in forensic anthropology.

Mario Martinez
Columbia Heights Educational Campus (Bell HS)

Mario loves researching anything related to technology. His hobbies include playing video games involving strategy, like “Dark Souls 2.” He also enjoys watching a lot of comedy type anime. He sometimes studies random facts about the world just for knowledge. He participates in afterschool activities, including working with the Latin American Youth Center as a cook. Mario describes himself as friendly, confident, social, honest, prideful, open minded, and well mannered. He wants to study more about Japan, because he has a strong interest in the architecture and landscape of the country. His career goal is to be a computer software designer.

Ana Thi Nguyen
Capital City Public Charter School

Ana’s favorite subject in school was art, because of her non-traditional art teacher who inspired her. She likes all media, but is drawn mostly to making digital art. Ana created our Japanese Plus’s Puni Puni mascot In her spare time. She is a full-time nerd, book worm, doodler and master of sleeping. Her interest in Japan was piqued by stories she loved reading. Her favorite books to read are mythology and folktales. Her history teacher (a JET alum) taught her about Buddhism through manga, and she got drawn into the culture.

Jonah Nguyen-Conyer
DC International School

Jonah likes art and one day would like to have a career in the art industry. He is black and half Vietnamese, and has been studying Chinese through an immersion approach since he was in the first grade. He has traveled to Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and China through family travel and school trips. He is very interested in learning more about Japan, a very unique Asian culture. His goal is to be able to maintain a happy family and I think the Japanese culture really dives into the points of respect for one another. After the Japan in DC program, he would love to study more about International Politics and International Relations.

Krisza Oacan
Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Krisza is in the Visual Arts department at her school. She grew up watching many anime, such as “Naruto” and “Attack on Titan,” and this led to her interest in Japan. She even took a karate class in middle school, which taught not only her about self-defense, but also the Japanese way of self-discipline and mediation. Everything about the culture fascinates her, and she particularly wants to learn more about Japanese etiquette and architecture. Krisza also likes photography and drawing anime and portraits of people. She is in her school’s International Food and Film Club and Model UN Club.

Yenifer Quintanilla
Capital City Public Charter School

Yenifer’s hobbies are to read manga and watch anime, and coloring in coloring books. She is the oldest child and the only girl in her family. She played the piano in middle school but currently plays the xylophone with her school band. She also plays softball for her school. She can speak Spanish fluently but would like to learn Japanese. Yenifer applied for the “Japan in DC” program so that she could experience real-life exposure to the Japanese world before she can actually go there. She wants to become a surgeon because she doesn’t want people to suffer.

Anna Desiree Robinson
Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Anna is a student in the Literary Media and Communications Department at her school. Her interests are in photography, film, and video. When she graduates from high school, she wants to major in Mass Media Arts in college, with a focus on public relations, perhaps minoring in business. She spends a lot of time reading for school, enjoys taking photo walks, and listening to music, especially hip-hop. She played basketball prior to high school, and more recently she has been studying Tae Kwon Do. Anna applied to “Japan in DC” to build her cultural competencies, and to increase her exposure to Asian culture and economics.

Roxan Rockefeller
Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

Roxan’s favorite subject is computer science because she loves computers and wants to know how they function and the science behind it.  Her hobbies are coding (mainly Python) and learning languages such as Japanese and Hindi. She also likes drawing, dancing, playing video games and cooking.  She chose to learn more about Japan because of her interest in anime and wanting to learn the language to watch anime without subtitles. Roxan’s goals are to visit Japan one day and to utilize her knowledge in Japanese language to interact with Japanese people and get to know more about their culture. Another goal is to create a funny coming-of-age anime that includes diverse students experiencing new life and culture shock in Japan. She also hopes to live and work in India some day.

Pascale Shears
Washington Latin Public Charter School

Pascale’s favorite subject at school is foreign languages, which is why she decided to take Arabic and Chinese at school. She enjoys writing stories that never end and video editing, using Final Cut Pro and after effects. She’s also is interested in photography. She first learned about “Japan in DC” an anime club and realized how it was great for learning about Japanese culture. Then, she became very interested because she realized there was a lot more in DC than she realized, and the program would be an amazing way to discover more. She also thinks the experience will help her grow in terms of deciding what she wants to do in her future.